Latest Ballon d'Or Odds: Van Dijk cut to 5/4 after being named Champions League final Man of the Match
Virgil van Dijk Liverpool Champions League trophy
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The Dutchman put in another superb performance to lead Liverpool to European glory but still trails five-time winner Lionel Messi in the betting

Virgil van Dijk has been cut to 5/4 (2.25) to win this year’s Ballon d’Or after a stellar performance in the Champions League final.

Liverpool beat Premier League rivals Tottenham 2-0 at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano to win the trophy for the sixth time, keeping their 13th clean sheet of 2019 in the process.

The Dutchman has been a rock at the back since signing for Jurgen Klopp’s men and was named official Man of the Match in Madrid, becoming just the third defender to win the award after Paolo Maldini in 2003 and Sergio Ramos three years ago.

Lionel Messi Barcelona Valencia Copa del Rey 2019

William Hill offered van Dijk at 15/8 (2.88) prior to the final but that has been cut after another influential performance for the Reds. Stunningly, no player has dribbled past the centre-back in any of his last 64 appearances for Liverpool.

No defender since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 has won the award and if van Dijk is able to scoop the award later this year, he will become the first Dutchman in 27 years to claim it.

However, the bookmaker still believe he was some work to do to oust Lionel Messi at the top of the pile with the Argentine 4/5 (1.80) to win a record sixth Ballon d’Or despite missing out Champions League glory again.

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Still, Messi was the top scorer in this season’s European competition with 12 goals. Six of those came in the knockout stages including a stunning 30-yard free kick against Liverpool in the semi-finals.

He was also top scorer in La Liga for the sixth time, scoring 36 times en route to another league title, with 21 of those coming in 2019. The Barcelona star also registered four league assists in the calendar year.

Third in the betting is Mohamed Salah, who is 16/1 (17.0). The Egyptian opened the scoring in the Champions League final with a penalty in the second minute but has his work cut out to chase down Messi and van Dijk.

An outstanding African Cup of Nations tournament this summer is perhaps unlikely to see his odds cut too much, even if he guides his country to a first title since 2010.

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Match Facts

  1. Liverpool are playing in their ninth European Cup/Champions League final – more than any other English side. They’ve won the trophy five times, but have lost their last two finals (2007 and 2018).
  2. Tottenham Hotspur are playing in their first ever European Cup/Champions League final, and are the eighth different English side to do so. The last five first-time finalists have ended up on the losing side (Chelsea 2008, Arsenal 2006, Monaco 2004, Bayer Leverkusen 2002 and Valencia 2000).
  3. This will be the second all-English European Cup/Champions League final, with Manchester United beating Chelsea on penalties in 2008 in the other.
  4. This is the first Champions League final between two sides who both failed to win their respective groups since Inter Milan vs Bayern Munich in 2010.
  5. Liverpool won both of their league meetings with Spurs this season. In total, they’ve met at least three times in all competitions in 13 previous campaigns – Liverpool have only beaten Spurs three times in a single season in one of those (1985-86 – four times).
  6. The only previous meeting between Liverpool and Tottenham in a major final was in the 1982 English League Cup final, with the Reds coming from behind to win 3-1 after extra-time.
  7. Liverpool were the losing finalists in last season’s Champions League final – the last side to lose consecutive finals in the competition were Valencia in 2000 and 2001.
  8. This will be Tottenham’s first major final in any European competition since the 1984 UEFA Cup. They are looking to become just the third English side to win all three of the major UEFA tournaments after Chelsea and Manchester United (European Cup/Champions League, UEFA Cup/Europa League and Cup Winner’s Cup).
  9. Liverpool have lost their last four appearances in major domestic and European finals since winning the 2012 League Cup. Meanwhile, Spurs’ last major trophy win was also the League Cup (2008), losing their last two finals since then.
  10. Tottenham failed to win any of their opening three Champions League group stage games this season – they’ve become just the second side to do so and go on to reach the final after Inter Milan in 2010, who went on to win the trophy.
  11. Only FC Porto (10) have had more different goalscorers (excluding own goals) in this season’s Champions League than Liverpool (9).
  12. No team has conceded more goals in this season’s Champions League than Tottenham Hotspur (17). 41% of these goals have come in the opening 15 minutes of games (7/17).
  13. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reached his third Champions League final, on the losing side with the Reds last season and with Borussia Dortmund in 2013. The only manager to lose three successive final appearances in the European Cup/Champions League is Marcello Lippi (1997, 1998 and 2003 with Juventus).
  14. This is Jurgen Klopp’s third major European final with Liverpool – only Bob Paisley (4) has ever reached more with the club.
  15. Mauricio Pochettino is only the third Tottenham manager to guide the club to a major European final, after Bill Nicholson and Keith Burkinshaw. It’s only the second final the Argentine has reached during his time as a manager in Europe, after the 2015 League Cup final with Spurs (0-2 vs Chelsea).
  16. Liverpool forward Sadio Mané scored the Reds’ goal in their 1-3 defeat in last season’s Champions League final. He could become just the second Liverpool player to score in multiple European Cup/Champions League finals after Phil Neal (1977 and 1984).
  17. Liverpool’s Sadio Mané scored in the 2018 Champions League final, and could become the first player to score in back-to-back European Cup/Champions League finals since Franz Roth with Bayern Munich in 1975 and 1976.
  18. If Trent Alexander-Arnold starts for Liverpool, he’d be the first ever player aged under-21 to start in consecutive Champions League finals. The previous youngest is Christian Panucci with Milan in 1994 and 1995.
  19. Tottenham’s Lucas Moura scored a hat-trick in their win at Ajax to see them into the final, scoring more goals in that game than he had in his previous 16 appearances in the competition beforehand (2).
  20. Of players to have scored at least 10 Champions League goals, Liverpool’s Sadio Mané has scored the highest percentage of them in the knockout stages of the competition (71.4%, 10/14).
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